What (Exactly) Is a Green Home?
Energy efficiency, health, and comfort all are hallmarks of a "green" house. Such properties often are called high performance, eco-friendly or energy efficient homes.
While some homes are certified as green by housing or environmental industry groups, properties don't necessarily have to carry a label to be considered green.
What all such homes have in common is a desire by its owners to live in a property that incorporates systems and features that lower utility bills, improve health and comfort, and minimize the impact on the planet.
For existing homes, there is a vast array of strategies for achieving greater efficiency.
They include small, inexpensive upgrades, like installing low-flow water faucets, energy efficient light bulbs, and programmable thermostats.
In addition, less visible elements, such as efficient insulation and air sealing, create a more comfortable, less drafty interior environment. And bigger, more costly projects - high efficiency furnaces, solar panels, and triple-pane windows, for example - often provide larger financial and environmental gains.
Newly constructed homes are being built to high standards that embrace green principles. Many builders now take a scientific, whole-building approach to ensure that a property's design, layout and systems work in concert to create a functional, comfortable setting that addresses environmental concerns.
When you are looking for a home with green features, here is a short checklist of considerations:
- Energy efficiency in home features like appliances, water faucets, lighting, heating, cooling, and water-heating systems
- Efficient building envelopes with high-performance windows and well-insulated walls, doors, and attics
- Non-toxic building materials and finishes, such as recycled or renewable woods and low - and zero - VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and sealants
- A landscape featuring native plants that thrive without chemical fertilizers or excessive watering
- Location efficiency, meaning a community where public transportation and the needs of daily life are accessible without a car.
Contact a local Realtor with the NAR's Green Designation - me! www.gailcorcoran.REALTOR
Read about green home labels at ENERGY STAR - www.EnergyStar.gov
National Association of Homebuilders - www.NAHB.org
US Green Building Council - www.USGBC.org
**REALTORS® who have earned the National Association of REALTORS Green Designation (https://green.realtor/work-green-designee/find-member) can refer you to local experts who can assess your home's performance.